Princess Diana's Death: Introduction & Overview -

Death Driver's Last Night * Conspiracy Theories
The French Connection * Photos
That Night - After The Crash * Conclusion * Still In The News


Ever since Princess Diana's tragic death on August 31, 1997, millions of words have been written and spoken about what really happened the night she died, and why.

Perhaps, not unlike the murder of JFK, we will never truly know the whys and wherefores of that night. To put things into perspective, let's take a look at that fateful night.


At precisely 12:15 A.M. on Sunday, August 31, 1997, the security staff of the Ritz Hotel were alerted.

Dodi and Diana were ready to depart through the rear entrance of the hotel. The green Range Rover and the decoy black Mercedes (the latter driven by the hotel's senior limousine driver) pulled out into the Place Vendome, circles the square and then returned to their parking spots. The photographers there were stymied.


Meantime, the second black 1994 Mercedes S-280, with Henri Paul at the wheel and Trevor Rees-Jones in the passenger seat, sped away from the rear of Ritz; Dodi was behind Paul, Diana on his right, behind Rees-Jones. In the excitement, only Rees-Jones fastened his seat belt.

It was 12:20 when the car sped south on Rue Cambon, then went along Rue de Rivoli and past the splashing, illuminated fountain and Egyptian obelisk of the Place de la Concorde.

By the time the Mercedes was hugging the Seine and heading toward the underpass, the few paparazzi on motorbikes had dropped behind. Photographs of speeding cars (more to the point, of their occupants) are notoriously difficult to obtain at night; besides, the windows of the Mercedes were heavily tinted. Nor did any of these men wish to risk their lives by edging their bikes close to a speeding vehicle.

Hence, the "Paparazzi killed Diana" theory turns out to be bull.

By the time Henri Paul and his passengers entered the Alma tunnel, the photographers were almost a quarter mile behind, keeping the car in sight but not endangering themselves by approaching the speeding Mercedes. It would be enough to arrive at Dodi's apartment, where several other colleagues of the pursuing paparazzi had already been alerted.

But another limousine driver entered the tunnel not far behind Paul, and this driver made a sworn statement of what happened---events that occurred within a few seconds, changing the course of countless lives and, it may be said without hyperbole, altering the course of late-twentieth-century history. The driver's account, it must be said, was in every way supported by police and by later forensic investigations of the site. And it is important to add that all police and official investigations discounted the proximity of paparazzi with blinding flashbulbs, on motorcycles.

Paul entered the tunnel on the left of two lanes and speeding at sixty to perhaps eighty miles an hour, which is not at all unusual in European cities---and then he found his car was behind a slower vehicle. Careful though this driver might otherwise have been, it is easy to imagine Dodi urging him on: "Faster! Lose them! Go on!"--- as friends and colleagues recalled, he usually did. Life was a chase Dodi wanted to win, a game in which he wanted both to be in the limelight and to retain his privacy. Henri Paul, in a healthier condition, may well have been more cautious, but as Claude Luc said, Fayed employees did what they were told---period.

Paul veered the Mercedes to the right, to pass the car ahead of him in the left lane. But then everything went out of control, and the right rear of the Mercedes swerved and hit the right wall of the tunnel with a loud crash. Attempting to correct the situation, Paul turned sharply left---and within seconds the Mercedes crashed into one of the reinforced concrete dividing pillars that separated the lanes from oncoming traffic and also supported the roof. The time the sound, like an explosion, was nearly deafening.

The car ricocheted again, hurtling across the drive and spinning around before coming to a full stop. It has been immediately reduced to a barely recognizable mound of steel: the front end telescoped into the engine, which was forced almost through the driver's seat. Inside the pile of rubble, Henri Paul and Dodi al-Fayed were dead, their bodies hideously mangled. Trevor Reed-Jones was seriously injured, but Diana, Princess of Wales, was near death. It was 12:24 AM. 


Princess Conspiracy Theories

Was Diana Murdered?

Death Driver's Last Night

The French Connection

That Night - After Diana's Crash

Diana Photos * Our Conclusion